Seven Springs Ski Resort

Seven Springs Ski Resort is by far the largest ski area in Pennsylvania and arguably the best area in the Mid-Atlantic states with its 275 skiable acres. Its reputation rests on extensive and varied terrain, high-speed lifts, a renovated base area with modern amenities and lodging, state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment, and a scenic location within easy driving distance of Pittsburgh. All these factors have made Seven Springs skiing and snowboarding famous throughout the East Coast.

Seven Springs Resort was founded in the 1930s as a getaway for wealthy Pittsburgh residents. It capitalized on the boom in recreational skiing, adding a rope tow and eventually chairlifts to the resort. Today, Seven Springs Ski Resort has a dozen lifts, including a new high-speed six person and a high-speed quad, servicing over 30 designated trails. At 2,530 feet above sea level, the nearby town of Seven Springs PA is the highest incorporated town in Pennsylvania, but the vertical drop at Seven Springs Ski Resort is just 750 feet; the runs are spread wide across two mountain faces.

Seven Springs Mountain Resort offers terrain for all level. First-timers can enjoy the magic carpet introductory areas just above the ski lodge and the gentle bunny slope serviced by a tow lift at the bottom of the Fawn Lane trail. Winding green trails run from almost every lift at Seven Springs Resort. The longest is the 1.25-mile from the Tahoe summit lodge. For other good cruising runs try Boomerang, near the Villages condo complex, and Philip's Run, which goes from the summit to the Seven Springs skiing lodge.

The intermediate runs at Seven Springs Mountain Resort tend to be short but wide. Stowe, Tyrol, and Wagner are good wide-open traversing runs just above the base area. There are a couple narrow, winding blue runs too: Giant Boulder on the North Face and Corkscrew near the Villages.

The terrain at Seven Springs Mountain Resort will impress advanced skiers and snowboarders. In fresh snow, there are several quality glades: Turtle Claw and Turtle Neck at the very edge of the North Face, and Alpine Meadows and Little Northface glades in the trees between the two faces. Mogul lovers should head to Avalanche and Goosebumps runs off the Avalanche lift near the Villages condos. Then make your way to the Polar Bear Express lift and ski the long wide steeps on the North Face of Seven Springs Resort: Giant Steps, Gunner, and North Face Slope.

Seven Springs Resort has four distinct terrain parks, ranging in difficulty from the easy Santa's Beard, to the intermediate Little North Face, to the advanced Alpine Meadows. The latter two parks have a halfpipe; Alpine Meadows has the only superpipe in Pennsylvania, a huge-walled halfpipe that will strike fear into all but the most daring snowboarders.

Seven Springs skiing is doubtlessly among the best in the Mid-Atlantic, up there with Elk and Blue Mountain in eastern Pennsylvania and Snoeshoe in West Virginia. It's only an hour away from Pittsburgh, so many riders can come here for a day. Even if you live in western Pennsylvania, it's worth spending the night at Seven Springs Ski Resort. A heavy investment in the early 2000s has made this the premier destination resort in the Mid-Atlantic, with slopeside hotels, the Villages condos, and the Foggy Goggle aprés ski bar. With another good ski resort, Hidden Valley Ski Area, just miles away, Seven Springs PA is a great place for a Pennsylvania ski vacation.

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